Preview of a seminal report on COP19 sidelines

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A preview of an upcoming publication on food security titled ‘The Last Straw?: The additional burden of climate change on food security in the Hindu Kush Himalayas’ was shown at the UNFCCC COP19 side event in Poland.

Panel (L-R):  Murray Simpson, University of Oxford and INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE; Kari Hauge Riisoen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway;  Nand Kishor Agrawal, ICIMOD, Rebecca Nadin, ACCC; and Lawrence Hislop, GRID-Arendal

Panel (L-R): Murray Simpson, University of Oxford and INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE; Kari Hauge Riisoen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway; Nand Kishor Agrawal, ICIMOD, Rebecca Nadin, ACCC; and Lawrence Hislop, GRID-Arendal

Photo: Utsav Maden/ICIMOD

The report accounts the challenges of mountain farming where harsh climate, rugged terrain, and remoteness are further compounded by global challenges like increased demands for food and raw materials, price hikes, and economic recessions. 

It states that the changes in monsoon patterns affect the predictability of precipitation and adaptability of crops and livestock, and this adversely affects the agricultural sector. The rising number of floods and droughts in the region also exacerbates the situation. 

The report stresses the need for policies that address the additive role of climate change in food insecurity, and that agricultural production and purchasing power need to be treated as equally important determinants of food security in the Hindu Kush Himalayas. It advocates higher prices for mountain products and more subsidies to locally produced biopesticides and fertilizers.

The report recommends support for small-scale farmers, diversity in production and livelihoods, maintenance of eco-agricultural services, and the need for ClimateSmart extension services to increase resilience of mountain communities.  

The preview was done at the side event ‘Adaptation Without Borders: Building Cooperation for Resilient Regions’ organized jointly by ICIMOD, INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE, and Oxford University’s Environment Change Institute (ECI) in collaboration with GRID-Arendal and other partner institutions at the UNFCCC COP19 in Warsaw on Thursday 14 November 2013.

The full report authored by researchers from Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO), GRID-Arendal, and ICIMOD will be launched in March 2014.